Happy Fourth of July, campers!
Previously, I shared my penchant for milkshakes during camping trips, and a visual of my grandparent’s backyard.
For many years, my grandparents hosted grand Fourth of July parties in that yard. Overlooking a river buzzing with water skiers, we heard the drone of boat races downriver at the town lake and, once night fell, viewed the spectacular fireworks show (or at least, the distant glow) over the same lake.
My two favorite memories of those parties: the homemade vanilla ice cream; and the wheelbarrow filled with ice and cans of soda pop. I remember dredging through the freezing slurry of ice and melted ice with numb fingers, seeking just the right soda, probably Orange Crush.
That ice cream, though… I’ve never found or made better vanilla ice cream (yet) than what came out of that slender metal canister submerged and spun in a bath of ice and salt. Oh, the endless cranking. Totally worth it!
These days, I satiate my nostalgic ice cream cravings two ways. My friend Cindy brings a soccer ball shaped ice cream maker on camping trips. Surprisingly, it produces great ice cream, assuming there are sufficient kids to “kick” the hard ball around.
Second, I make peppermint ice cream. “Why peppermint on America’s Independence Day?” What could be more patriotic, hmm?
Kidding. It took me years to perfect the ice cream to recreate a long-desired summer camp milkshake (**more on that tomorrow). Now, peppermint ice cream prompts thoughts of summers long ago, floating in the chilly (but refreshing) river with my life vest on (bobbing around like a can of Orange Crush), waving to the water skiers, sugaring up on soda pop, and pleading to go to the lake to watch the fireworks display.
(**Here’s a peek):